Title: Storm Chaser
Author: Kuria Dalmatia
Rating/Warnings: FRM/R (profanity, sexual situations, mild d/s)
Characters/Pairing: Hotch/Reid, established relationship
Summary: It is love. Aaron is certain of that. Why else would he be on a trip that could best be summarized as a "tornado stake out"?
ARCHIVING: my LJ & FFNet... anyone else? Please ask first.
COMMENTS: Unbetaed. This was originally supposed to be "R is for Rage" entry in my Alphabet Meme but it took on a life of its own and I got stuck a few times. Yes, I've probably taken some liberties with the whole storm chasing aspect of it but, hey, it's all in fun right?
Storm chasing is one of the things on my Bucket List, along with skydiving and white water rafting. I have the upmost respect for those who pile into minivans loaded down with equipment to hunt down tornadoes. Me? Tornados scare the unholy shit out of me.
December 2010-February 2011
Feedback always welcome.
DISCLAIMER: The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television own Criminal Minds. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.
"There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness."
— Friedrich Nietzsche
It's not the first time that Aaron has asked himself, "Why the hell am I doing this?" It won't be the last time he answers with, "Because Spencer asked."
After all, they're sitting in a minivan packed with scientific equipment and they're out in the middle of nowhere…Correction. They're somewhere near 34-46'28'' North by 096-40'42'' West, which apparently translates to the coordinates close to Ada, Oklahoma.
The UnSub they're chasing? A goddamn storm.
Aaron has no idea why the hell he even agreed to do this except that, well, it's one of the few things that Spencer has ever outright asked him to do. So for the first week of their annual leave—AL that Aaron busted his ass to coordinate so that the entire team could be off at the same time (and, no, he doesn't think about the last time that happened and how it ended up in a chase as well)—this is what he and Spencer are doing.
Stuck in a minivan, tracking down violent storms in hopes of seeing a tornado.
It is goddamn crazy.
They're not the only ones on the tour. Apparently, storm chasing is pretty popular, which initially surprises the hell out of Aaron until he meets the people who have signed up. He's not being cruel when he concludes that this is probably their one chance at pure excitement, to do something 'wild and crazy'. They have relatively low-risk jobs, ones that don't require Kevlar, high speed chases, or trying to figure out how a delusional psychotic interprets the Bible. Aaron's also pretty damn certain they've never been a victim of a crime, which he's thankful for in one way, but their carelessness and obliviousness annoys the hell out of him.
For Aaron and Spencer, it's chasing down a thing, not a person. There is destruction—it's a fucking tornado for God's sake—and people can get hurt. But it's a force driven by nature in a different way than they're used to.
Aaron understands why Spencer finds it fascinating, and there is a part of him that is intrigued as well. However, he'd be much happier observing the violent weather from someplace a bit safer. His apartment in Virginia quickly comes to mind.
Admittedly, he's surprised that Spencer fits in so easily with the group, but then again, Spencer is his usual font of information about weather patterns, equipment and historical data. Their guides are excited that they have someone who is knowledgeable, who can talk on the same scientific level as them but is not condescending and does not overshadow their expertise. The other tourists seem impressed but not intimidated by Spencer, probably because Spencer has done a remarkable job at keeping his enthusiasm somewhat restrained. He doesn't interrupt when one of the guides starts talking about Tornado Alley, although Aaron knows he's dying to add his own insights just by the way Spencer's pinky taps against his coffee cup.
However, Aaron sticks out like a sore thumb.
And for the past three days, he's heard all about it from his fellow tourists. Aaron is polite but doesn't really participate in the enthusiastic discussions except to clarify to Spencer that the "flying cow movie" is Twister. When Carl and Carline hear that Spencer has never seen the movie, they whip out their iPad, cue up the movie, and hand it over to Spencer, who watches it with the same intensity he does when viewing a video sent to them by an UnSub.
It's something to do as they drive around Oklahoma, searching for storms.
It leads to a passionate discussion with the two storm chasers in the van with them—Melinda and TJ—Carl, Carline and Spencer. Spencer's won over Melinda and TJ because he gets the inaccuracies; Carl and Carline still claim it's a fun movie even if the cows realistically would have been dead. As they pull in to the hotel for the evening, Carl dares to bring up the nickname Aaron has been christened with by the group—Mister Crotchner—and adds, "Can't you just lighten up?"
To which Spencer replies honestly, "This is him 'lightened' up. He's not wearing his suit." It earns laughter.
Aaron puts up with it because Spencer endured three Orioles games, two Nationals games, and a Ravens game. And when Spencer apologizes for the nickname as if he was the one who came up with it, Aaron offers a soft smile and says, "I've been called worse."
And they both know he has.
The hotel rooms are marginally better than what they stay in when on cases, except Aaron and Spencer get to share and no one blinks an eye or offers one of them a hemorrhoid donut in the morning. In their group, there are two other men who have doubled up but aren't a couple. It's not like Aaron and Spencer broadcast their status, not to a group of people like this.
The only real tolerable thing is that Aaron and Spencer have sex every night. It's not rushed. It's not frantic. It's slow and sensual, which makes up for the hours upon hours stuck cramped up in a minivan. They know how to be quiet, when the put the mattress on the floor and just what to use as makeshift gags because sometimes shouting when coming is the whole point. There is a thrill of naughtiness to it, of course, and Aaron doesn't mind. He's used to it. He's not upset by it.
Judging from the way Spencer grins, he knows his lover doesn't mind it as well.
Both agree that they do not want the group to know what they do for a living. They don't want to 'talk shop' with a bunch of amateurs because it's annoying as hell when someone says, I read this David Rossi novel… (or Thompson novel or Ryan novel) and they believe they're experts because they watch CSI every week and took Abnormal Psychology in college.
"It's like going undercover," Spencer told him the night before they left. "We can tell them…" He paused and smiled. "We can tell them that we're analysts with the government who investigate crime statistics."
Their cover holds and Aaron doesn't feel the slightest bit guilty about it.